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The Key to Empowering Your Fitness Clients

What is the most valuable thing you can provide your fitness client? This is a great question to ponder. Any good trainer is motivating. We all know that. But to be great, you must empower your fitness client. What is the difference?

Self-Empowerment = using your skills to unlock the motivation inside the client, so they learn self-motivation and self-accountability.

Making empowerment a corner stone of your business model is critical for your success. The fitness client that follows your leadership proactively, works out on his or her own, and takes responsibility over his or her goals always gets better results than the one who does not.

And clients who get great results will refer you to more great clients, which means:

• more money;

• more job security;

• better results;

• less cancellations;

• less time marketing yourself;

• more fun!

The other option is to create a vicious cycle of co-dependence. The client needs you to exercise. You need the client for money. The results are mediocre and neither party is happy.

How to Make Exercise Sticky

So, how do you empower each and every one of your fitness clients so they stick with exercise? Lots of ways!

1. Introduce Them to Reality – our bodies are meant to move every single day. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have survived. This is what Primal Fitness means; move it or die. The same applies today, except a quick death by sabertooth tiger has been replaced by the slow death of disease. Help them face this reality ASAP.

2. Set The Tone – Write out your expectations and present it to them at the end of the very first workout; let them know that this is a partnership and each side has responsibilities. Explain how this will help them get the best results. Yes you may scare off some potential clients, but the chances they would have made a great client are slim. Great clients will react the exact opposite way. “Wow, this trainer is serious, I am going to have to step it up!”

3. Education, Educate, Educational! – Of course our job is to exercise fitness clients, but we must educate them as well. This means giving them small bits of practical information they can use, not trying to impress them with our anatomy vocabulary.

4. Exercise Homework – Oh yeah, about that “small bit of practical information” i.e. exercise knowledge, make sure you ask them to use that information in between each time they see you. Create a program for beginners and have them report back to you, while more advanced clients can submit programs to you for you to edit. Don’t ask too much, but don’t ask too little!

5. Over Deliver/Care – That’s right, when you really care, the client will care too. Finding client’s that you really care about is half the battle. Good examples are sending hand written notes when they reach a milestone, an encouraging email, or looking up some question they had and sending them the answer.

6. Social Fitness – Back to the whole aspect of primal fitness; we survived through evolution by working together. Hunting, gathering, carrying, building, these are all things we did together. Adding a social element to their experience is a great way to keep them motivated and focused. This can mean working out in tandem, at a group exercise class, bootcamp, or running group. Either way, it helps make exercise more fun and less boring, which makes it easier to stick too.

7. Competitions – Providing clients with opportunities to compete is a great way to connect your fitness client with the concept of primal fitness. Weight loss contests, races, and exercise competitions are great ways to keep clients self-motivated and focused.

8. Connect to Their Joy  – Yes, most clients want to get in better shape to “look better naked”, but the simple truth of the matter is that they cannot be happy without being healthy and fit. Again, help them understand this simple statement: no exercise equals no happiness. Find out what their life goals are, what hobbies or physical activities they enjoy, and create programs that will help them enjoy life, and these activities, more. This will help them self-motivate and stick to the program.

9. Be Inspirational – Last, but not least, we must be inspirational, not only with our words and actions, but our physicality and lifestyle. While this is a major tool to get clients jump-started and keep them motivated, it works best over the long term when combined with the preceding 8 concepts. You may be saying to yourself “but if I teach the client everything I know, they will have no use for me”. Yes, this is true, but our job as a personal trainer is to know way more than the client. No matter how good you are at educating your fitness client, you should always know even more. If this is a concern for you, then that is a red flag that you need to spend more time on continuing education.

The simple fact is that life happens:

• Clients move away

• They go on vacation

• They run out of money

No matter what happens, you want to leave your clients with a better ability to exercise themselves. This is exponentially more valuable than training them to reach a goal that they cannot maintain on their own. And the more value your provide people, the more successful you will be in life and business.

The Power of Primal Fitness

Michael Pollan, in his book bestselling book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, writes that “Under the pressure of the hunt… the human brain grew in size and complexity.”

As well all know, humanity has survived (and thrived) because of it’s intelligence/brain size.

And our brains grew because of hunting.

Therefore…

We survived because our brains grew because of intensely focused group exercise.

Funny, right?

But the truth is the same today; we may live in a civilized society, but our body and brains are 200,000 years old (so says evolution.)

The same rules apply.

Connect your fitness clients to the idea of primal fitness and they will thrive.

Find a way to tap into these emotions and level of intensity, safely, and you will empower all of your clients. Engage their intelligence and focus; the human brain, while representing only 2% of the bodies mass, uses 18% of the calories we consume. Get them actively engage in the workout, and they will burn more calories, retain the information they learn, and the workouts will be more interesting.

So what techniques will you use to empower your clients? Have they worked? What challenges do you face? Leave me some questions in the comments and I will get right back to you. Show me you are alive!

Jonathan Angelilli, aka Johnny Fitness, has worked as a full time trainer for over 8 years, has completed 9 certifications, trains several celebrities, and is currently the Training Director of Dynamic Results, an upscale fitness and lifestyle company in NYC. He has directly coached, managed, and mentored over 100 personal trainers in the last 5 years alone, and owns a highly successful consulting company for personal trainers. His coaching clients have achieved amazing results including making more money, helping more people, and creating more opportunities for their fitness business. Visit http://PersonalTrainingBusiness.com for more information.

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written by dynamic results, October 04, 2010
Awesome!
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written by ThePTCoach, October 05, 2010
Great article Jonathan!
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written by dynamic results, October 05, 2010
Thanks !

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